Are these Christmas wreaths or memorials in Eden, Idaho?

My dad was tired of putting out Christmas lights. He wasn’t lazy. When he came back from the army, he went to the radiator factory and went back to his old job for the night shift (he was a millwright). Then he drove across town and found a day job at the Chevy factory. He often worked two full-time jobs and a part-time weekend gig.

He would still find time to decorate the house for Christmas and all the patriotic holidays. At 46, he is building the house of his dreams. On a slight rise above a lake. In a place where snowstorms were measured in feet and the wind always blew. After a particularly windy day hanging up Christmas lights, he decided to leave them on after the holidays. Passersby obviously couldn’t see them when they weren’t electrified. It would then turn them on for Independence Day, then go dark again until just after Thanksgiving.

I was thinking of him a few days ago while passing by the Eden fire department. There are wreaths hanging above the bays, and the decorations appear to have been well displayed. It made me smile and I did a three point turn and then took a picture! If these aren’t remnants of Christmas, then maybe memorials to firefighters past and present. Everything works for me.

I was in a meeting at work last week and everyone was talking about how quickly the displays were going up in the big box stores. I’m not bothered by the so-called Christmas marketing. The decorations are pretty, even in August. One late summer day, I was in a store and found some home decorations that I could watch while the figurines moved and the music played. I stood there, soaking up people passing by, and assumed I was a simpleton. Maybe, but I was also replaying old memories.

DISCOVER THEM: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fashions

Wiley C. Thompson